First microscope, identified! Vickers Instruments Metalette

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Farmazon
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Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:07 am

First microscope, identified! Vickers Instruments Metalette

#1 Post by Farmazon » Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:26 am

Greetings everyone,

I am a beginner in microscopy, having only delved into inverted-lens photomacrography so far, but I have recently acquired an inverted Vickers microscope. The previous owner said it was used for mineralogical studies. I was unable to find any information online, and i would be grateful for anyone willing to share their knowledge.

It can only use reflected illumination.
Focusing is done by moving the turret up and down, not the stage.
It has a 5-slot turret with 3 objectives: 5/0.15, 40/0.65 and 10/0.25.
It has a 10x Vickers eyepiece.
I am attaching two pictures for illustration.

Thank you in advance.
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Last edited by Farmazon on Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

apochronaut
Posts: 2743
Joined: Fri May 15, 2015 12:15 am

Re: First microscope, need help identifying it.

#2 Post by apochronaut » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:58 pm

Cooke-Baker made a nifty biological upright microscope called the Patholette, which used the same base and general concept. Later it became the Vickers Patholette, when the name of the company was changed. I do not know the name of that inverted one but it looks to be a very nice compact metallurgical scope. The objectives likely have met inscribed on them and are for use with no cover slip.
At one time there would have been a domed plastic cover.

Probably, some former dealer of Vickers, in your area would know the microscopes name or model #. The model numbers began with an M. M41, M42 etc.

The Vickers archives are at The Borthwick Institute for Archives at the University of York.

MichaelG.
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Location: NorthWest England

Re: First microscope, need help identifying it.

#3 Post by MichaelG. » Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:10 pm

apochronaut wrote: I do not know the name of that inverted one but it looks to be a very nice compact metallurgical scope.
Its name is Metalette

MichaelG.
.
https://dlib.york.ac.uk/yodl/app/image/ ... ref=browse
Too many 'projects'

Farmazon
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:07 am

Re: First microscope, need help identifying it.

#4 Post by Farmazon » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:46 am

Wow, thank you so much for the information, i never expected such quick and accurate answers!

Michael, that is indeed the scope, great eye! Now i wonder if i can find that camera adapter anywhere...

Apochronaut, i came upon the Patholette while researching this scope, i saw the similarities and initially i thought it might have been some sort of modular design or adaptation of that scope, but i know better now. And about those archives, seeing that i am not from England, i might have some difficulties in obtaining them. Thank you for your advice, though.

I am still exploring the scope's features, and reading up on the subject, but the learning curve is surprisingly steep...

I took some pictures of the objectives, the larger magnification 40/0.65 is the only one with the MET designation, and it indeed has the closest working distance. It also appears to have been crashed into a sample somewhere along its history, it has some pitting on the glass surface of the front element.

I have also included some pictures of the other objectives, if anyone is interested. The eyepiece also appears in one of the pictures.

Mechanically, the scope seems fine, the coarse and fine focusing work smoothly and precisely and the light aperture works normally.
The round stage is moveable by hand, in order to change the sample's position, and it appears to have some sort of damping grease on its lower surface, grease that is now turned into a dry muck.

The optical elements badly need some cleaning.

I have beginner's question about the light: it appears that the aperture is not centered on the eyepiece. When i stop down the light's aperture the light circle is offset to one side. I don't know if this is by design or a misalignment in the optical path.

I also don't know the term for the second control below the objective, it appears to be another aperture control (field aperture?)

Another issue i seem to be having is regarding color rendition with reflected light: i can see surface features great (scratches, pitting, shapes) but i can't see any color. I can barely see color if my sample is highly colorful, but not otherwise.

The fourth question, if you would be so kind to help me out, is regarding polarization. I want to observe birefringent materials in cross-polarized light. I have successfully photographed citric acid crystals in this manner with a digital camera and macro lens, but i don't seem to get the dark field effect here. Is this a function of reflected vs. transmitted light?

Thank you in advance for your advice, it's great having knowledgeable people around.
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MicroBob
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Re: First microscope, identified! Vickers Instruments Metalette

#5 Post by MicroBob » Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:54 am

I have a warning for users of the Patholette. It may also apply to the Metalette. With the Patholette it more likely than usual to grab the microscope by the table and crush the condenser through the slide into the objective. There is not much elso to grab on this stand.
The table guides move lightly and there is not much spring load on it. Apart from that it is a very interesting design of usable but not great functionality.

Your Metalette is probably a quite rere instrument and in a really nice shape - congratulations!

In reflected light brightfield there is always a lack of contrast. This can be improved by polarisation. If you put a polarizer on the lamp and one in the viewing light path it should work. Some reflected light microscopes use darkfield with a ring mirror around the lens. This offers even more contrast. Does your Metalette have something like this? It might be necessary to adjust this system for the objective in use.

The decentering: You probably can either adjust the lamp or the condenser to have a centered field iris.
Attachments
Microchip - polarized brightfield
Microchip - polarized brightfield
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Stainless steel grid - playing around with darkfield
Stainless steel grid - playing around with darkfield
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Farmazon
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:07 am

Re: First microscope, identified! Vickers Instruments Metalette

#6 Post by Farmazon » Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:15 pm

Hi,
This is the third time i'm writing this post, the forum lost 2 of my previous drafts so i'm a bit incoherent on this one.
Time for an update. Going to make it as a 2-post due to the attachment limitations.

Ghetto construction trigger warning. If you don't want to see camp stoves used in microphotography adapter construction, stop here.

Managed to fix the off-centered il;umination problem, after much fiddling around. Turns out it was the misaligned 45-degree eyepiece holder prism. Photos incoming.

[figure 1: the problem.]
Notice the tube is centered, but the image is assymetrical.
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[figure 2: alternative angle.]

Centered image, offset tube. Here is the problem!
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[Figure 3: off with your eyepiece tube!]
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[Figure 4: turn here, problem solved.]
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[Figure 5: centered prism.]
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[end of part 1.]

Farmazon
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:07 am

Re: First microscope, identified! Vickers Instruments Metalette

#7 Post by Farmazon » Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:17 pm

[part 2:]

[Figure 6: Barbecue time!]
So let's make an adapter for the Fuji X-mount.
Parts box revealed a 2-step sink drain PVC pipe (right). Its diameter was close, but not enough to fit the eyepiece holder, plus, the holder is conical anyway. So i heated it and pressed on the holder tube (no optics inside, by the way). After cooling down we have a perfect cone friction fit.
Now comes an M42- Tmount adapter and 3 machine screws.
Then comes an X-mount - M42 adapter.
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[Figure 7 - end result:]
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[Figure 8 - And working.]
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[Figure 9 - General view.]
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[Figure 10 - Without the eyepiece holder, and a question.]
So, let's see what we can see here. The filament image inside, check. The field aperture, check. The thin vertical line of light to the left of the filament image? Does that serve a specific purpose or is it just an artifact?
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[Gonna be a 3-part after all.]

Farmazon
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:07 am

Re: First microscope, identified! Vickers Instruments Metalette

#8 Post by Farmazon » Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:19 pm

[Figure 11 - sample 1: 20x ]
Surface of an amethyst crystal with a small gap in which interference colors are visible. Stacked with CombineZP.
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[Figure 11 - sample 2: 20x]
Pyrite crystals, the same sample as in Figure 8. Stacked with CombineZP.
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If anyone is interested, i can get more detailed shots of the device.

In the meantime, Microbob - i can't really see how crashing the condenser into the objective would happen, because the condenser is under the field aperture, which is under the beam splitter, which is under the objective, below the sample...on second thought, just to clarify: this microscope can't do transmitted light. It has no means to light the sample from across the objective, only through it. The objective turret, beam splitter and field aperture move, and the movement is heavy and damped.

I don't have any other devices around the objective or any other adjustments other than lamp aperture, field aperture and fine and coarse focus.

Thanks for the kind words!

MichaelG.
Posts: 1514
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:24 am
Location: NorthWest England

Re: First microscope, identified! Vickers Instruments Metalette

#9 Post by MichaelG. » Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:49 pm

Nicely done !!

MichaelG.
Too many 'projects'

MicroBob
Posts: 1526
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2016 9:11 am

Re: First microscope, identified! Vickers Instruments Metalette

#10 Post by MicroBob » Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:59 pm

What I meant was this: With the Patolette it is likely to crash the condensor into the objective. This of cause is not possible with your microscope. But with your Metalette it might be as easy to crash the objectives into the table or object lying on the table.

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